J. Irwin and Xenia Miller House." /> J. Irwin and Xenia Miller House." />
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Alexandra Lange

Mad Swatches


I have blogged about Alexander Girard a number of times in the past, as I was hoping to write the first definitive history of his career as architect, and exhibition, textile and restaurant designer. That may still happen, but unfortunately I have to get in line behind Todd Oldham, who is putting together a visual monograph on Girard to be published by AMMO next year.

One of the aspects of Girard’s career that is most newsy, and that I am hoping I can convince someone to send me to Columbus, IN to cover, is the restoration and reopening of the J. Irwin and Xenia Miller House. I researched this house for the Eero Saarinen catalog, since he (mostly Kevin Roche) designed the house, while Girard did the interiors, and lectured about it this past June.

One of the most strikingly original aspects of the Miller House, completed in 1957, is that it is one of few iconic modern houses built for a family (I would count the Noyes house as the other). And Girard had a lot to do with making what could have been a mausoleum into a fun, color-coded home. Here’s a video from the Indianapolis Museum of Art, showing a recent discovery of a box of Girard’s swatches and notes. Don’t you wish you were there?



Posted in: Design History

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Alexandra Lange Alexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, and author of Writing about Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities. (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in The Architect’s Newspaper, Architectural Record, Dwell, Metropolis, Print, New York Magazine and The New York Times.

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